History taught through blue pottery - a part of the Jaipur History Festival – II

Blue pottery is one of the most popular crafts of Jaipur, an orientation was held on 7th March 2018 at Neerja International for the principals and teachers of the city. 

On behalf of Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II Museum Trust, Mrs. Rama Datt, Executive Trustee, Mr. Yunus Khimani, Director and Mr. Sandeep Sethi, Education Consultant, Mrs. Leela Bordia briefed the audience and explained the program.

They were taken to a manufacturing unit and shown the process of making blue pottery products.  The objective was to introduce the students to the craft, the process, its history and use the tiles as a pedagogy to teach history.

Eleven schools participated in this workshop represented by their principals and art teachers.

The students were asked by their teachers to select topics from their syllabus of history topics and depict them through blue pottery tiles.

The students then visited the unit school wise, approximately 15 to 18 per school, 

They visited the unit Neerja International for two continuous days 

During these two days Mrs. Leela Bordia and her team briefed them about the history of blue pottery.

Two short films on the history and making process were shown to them.

The students and teachers had already selected the designs and came prepared with perforated sheets

The students took the coal dust powder bundle and then drew the design on the tile. 

Cobalt blue paint was used to make the outlines on the tiles so that the colors on firing would not mix.

The students were then given colors.

The team at the unit explained the use of the brush, the stroke movements, colors what they seemed at the time of painting and then at the time after firing them.

The team constantly helped the students on their inquiries of color selection, light and dark shades, and the importance of not repeating coloring on one another as it would spoil the color effect.

They were also shown unfired and fired tils to understand the importance of white spaces that were left to enhance the impact of colors after firing of the tiles.

The students would normally, on the first day, see the two films, visit the unit, draw on their tile and finish the cobalt work, the next day would be for coloring, a lot depended on how much homework the children had done. Some of them had their coloring of the design on paper so the work could be easier

The sizes of tiles were 4x4 and 6x6 inch.


The following schools have taken part in the first stage

1.      Sanskar School

2.      Maharaja Sawai Bhawani Singh School

3.      The Palace School

4.      Tagore International School

5.      Rehmani Madarsa

6.      St. Edmunds School

7.      St. Anselm’s Pink City School

8.      Subodh Public School Airport

9.      S. V. Public School

10.   Mayura School 


Themes taken from History Subject of Grade 9 to 12 are as given below:

1.      Vijayanagar temples

2.      Mughal art

3.      The Ramayana 

4.      Different art forms of the world 

5.      Asoka pillar

6.      The Indus valley civilization 

7.      Sufism and saints 

8.      Mira Bai divine series

9.    Series on gond art of Madhya Pradesh

10.  Jain temple designs 

More than 210 students and 20 teachers have taken part in this workshop spread over 24 working days during the month of April and May, 2018.

240 tiles are being readied as of now and there is a target of 400 tiles to be exhibited during the Jaipur History Festival, during the month of December 2018.

More schools will join after their summer break.

 The underprivileged schools are being supported by INTACH.